Infographic: Red Blood Cell Shape
Infographic: Red Blood Cell Shape

Infographic: Red Blood Cell Shape

What happens when myosin inside red blood cells can't do its job?

Ashley Yeager
Ashley Yeager

Ashley started at The Scientist in 2018. Before joining the staff, she worked as a freelance editor and writer, a writer at the Simons Foundation, and a web producer at...

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Sep 1, 2018

ABOVE: SPANTEDLOTRU

In healthy red blood cells (RBCs), myosin fibers (blue) contract, pulling on actin (pink) and spectrin proteins (purple) connected to the cell membrane and helping to give the cells their distinct, indented shape (below, top panel). When the myosin fiber is experimentally manipulated so that it slackens or detaches from the cell-membrane proteins, red blood cells instead take on an oval shape (bottom panel).

© kimberly battista


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